1

Both 二倍 and 两倍 mean "double". I'm wondering if there's any distinction between the two, e.g. with respect to grammar, or when to use which. (There is ordinarily a difference in usage between 二 and 两.)

Question: Is there any distinction between 二倍 and 两倍?

It's not mentioned on the Chinese Grammar Wiki page Expressing "multiples" with "bei".


This question is not a duplicate of When to use 一倍 vs 两倍 nor Saying 'doubled' in Chinese 一倍 vs 两倍 which ask about 一倍, while this question asks about 二倍.

  • 二倍 is mainly literary, 两倍 can be colloquial or literary – Tang Ho Oct 22 '19 at 2:33
  • Hmm... it seems I asked about 二百 vs. 两百 previously too. – Becky 李蓓 Oct 22 '19 at 3:22
  • You probably want to ask 二 vs 两 too. The answers are on ref.ncl.edu.tw/… and pcerc.org/HJZHY/HJ904/HJ904_05.htm – wada Oct 24 '19 at 1:54
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    There's no difference, 双倍 means the same thing too. – YiFan Oct 24 '19 at 8:25
  • difference between 二 and 两 is only related to pronunciation and tunes, 4th tune requires more power to pronounce it, 3rd tune gives you a chance to pronounce it slowly, so you get rest. In Chinese, we don't pronounce 2 adjacent 3rd tunes, instead we must change the first character to 2nd tune, e.g. 处理 , according to same reason, you need select a correct variant to pronounce the word easily and get rest. “两” 发音时缓慢省力,而“二” 费力。 汉语发音讲究抑扬顿挫,合理的音调组合能节省气力。比如,如果你一个小时的演讲大部分的词用 4声调,你会觉得非常累,我们就需要找到可以省力的词。所以大家最后习惯了使用那些发音上更省气力的词汇。 – Daniel Yeung Nov 7 '19 at 9:15
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They are exactly the same. Maybe, 两倍 is used more frequently than 二倍, but I don't have actual data to support it. It's just my impression.

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If you focus on the usage of "double" only, 二倍 and 两倍 are the same, but 两倍 is more standard and common usage.

Strictly speaking, 二倍 is very nonstandard, it could be considered wrong in some cases.

1

In short, the character 两 often precedes a quantifier, while 二 does not. In ordinary life, we prefer 两倍/个/斤 to 二倍/个/斤。

However, when it comes to science and technology, 二 is preferred to 两。 There is a jargon 二倍体 (diploid)but 两倍体 does not exist.

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二倍 could also be used in Cantonese meaning two times of something.

E.g. 卖出二倍的价钱-selling at two times the price

两倍 is used in Mandarin.

E.g. 两倍价钱-two times the price

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两倍 is more often used than 二倍,because "二" sometimes means "stupid". Like “不要这么二!” means "don't be stupid".

0

the same, just a habit. in number we use 一二三四五六七八九十. but for thing we used to use 兩個、兩隻、兩張、兩百、兩萬

funny example 222,222,222

we used to call it 兩億兩千兩百二十二萬兩千兩百二十二

if you can't remember, always use 二 is fine

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